Binding of Cu(II) and Pb(II) to a soil fulvic acid, humic acid, and two different size fractions of the humic acid was investigated with metal titration experiments at pH 4, 6, and 8. Proton and free metal ion activities in solution were monitored after each titration step using pH and ion selective electrodes (ISE), respectively. The amounts of base required to maintain constant pH conditions were recorded and used to calculate stoichiometric proton-to-metal ion exchange ratios. Despite clear differences in chemical composition and protonation behavior, the fulvic acid and all humic acid fractions exhibited very similar metal binding behavior. Binding of Cu(II) and Pb(II) generally increased with increasing pH and total metal concentration. At low to moderate metal ion concentrations, Cu(II) was bound more strongly to the humic substances than Pb(II). Only at high free metal concentrations, the amounts of metal ions sorbed were higher for Pb(II) than for Cu(II). The molar proton-to-metal ion exchange ratios ranged from 1.0 to 1.8 for Cu(II) and from 0.6 to 1.2 for Pb(II), suggesting that Cu(II) was bound as monodentate and bidentate complexes, while Pb(II) was bound predominantly as monodentate complexes. The metal ion binding data were quantitatively described with the consistent NICA-Donnan model. The best description of an entire multicomponent data set consisting of proton titration, Cu(II), and Pb(II) binding data was achieved when the entire data set was fitted simultaneously. To reduce the number of fitting parameters, results from size exclusion chro matography and solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy were used to estimate two of the NICA-Donnan model parameters. The values of the remaining NICA-Donnan parameters for the humic substances are within a narrow range, suggesting that generalized model parameters may be useful in geochemical modeling involving humic substances. \u
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